Monday, December 3, 2018

Book Review: Measures of Success


Companies rely on metrics to run their businesses but are they just reacting to noise or responding to meaningful signals in the metrics. The success of your company relies on learning the Measures of Success.  Mark Graban penned an insightful, practical guide to encourage a new way of thinking about your KPIs.

Accepting a better way requires first that we recognize problems and shortcomings with our current management practices. This book presents a practical, simple method (“Process Behavior Charts”) that separates “signal” from “noise” in our metrics, so we can learn when and how to evaluate and respond to our performance measures appropriately overtime.

Mark starts with choosing the right metrics and the danger of arbitrary targets. He explains why process behavior chars are more effective then other comparisons. When there is inherent variation that is part of a stable process and when there are signals that the system is performing out of the norm and has assignable special case variation. By learning and practicing PBC organizations will be able to react less to noise and waste precision time and spend more time in a state of continuous improvement, by making system changes by understanding and addressing signals in a process.

While the book centers around numbers and calculations it is not another statistics book. Mark includes 10 key points of Measures of Success along with 3 core questions that we should ask about all systems and metrics. Mark shares a number of case studies including lessons from the red bead game. He makes the connection to the Lean mindset of continuous improvement and A3 thinking. Follow the concepts in this easy to understand book and you will learn a new way of thinking about variation and improve more while pursuing excellence.


Measures of Success is a book for managers, executives, business owners, and improvement champions who want to learn how to get the most out of your process and continuously improve. If you and your organization want to be more successful, to improve more, and to be less frustrated I recommend you read Mark Graban’s book.

Disclosure: The author provided a copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.



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